How to find hidden cameras in vacation rentals

The report suggests looking for a light, looking for something out of place and potentially trying some technology to snuff out hidden cameras.
A report found 1 in 4 people find a hidden camera in their vacation homes.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 1:28 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new report from a local real estate investment company found that one in every four people has found a hidden camera at a vacation property.

“More than 1 in 3 (34%) search a vacation property looking for cameras and 1 in 4 have found one! Among those who found a camera, 20% found it outside and 5% found it inside the property,” IPX 1031 said in their report.

Of those who’ve found a camera, the report adds that one in ten covered or unplugged it for the remainder of their stay. But the question remains, how do you find cameras, hidden or not, in your vacation rentals?

According to a report, there’s an app for that, and it’s called Fing. It’s a free app for hidden camera detection, the app said in a report.

“Fing is the expert in device Intelligence because our accuracy of device detection and recognition is second to none. Over 100 million users recommended Fing as a tool of choice for detecting Airbnb hidden cameras by CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and Fast Company,” Fing said in a report.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scan the Wi-Fi network for hidden cameras using Fing App
  2. Check for common IP camera names that may be hidden on the network
  3. Use the ‘Find hidden cameras’ feature from Fing Premium

The report from Fing also suggests you can check for items that look odd or appear to be out of place and use your flashlight to look for camera lenses.

A report from Safewise, a safety research site, suggests similar steps for looking for hidden video cameras in your vacation rental. They suggest looking for a light, looking for something out of place and potentially trying some technology out, like the Fing app or pocket-sized hidden device detectors.

Here’s a look at Airbnb’s policy on the use of cameras and recording devices:

What we do allow

  • Disclosed devices monitoring only public spaces and common spaces: Devices that allow for viewing or monitoring of only a public space (ex: a front door or a driveway) or a common space that are clearly identified and disclosed ahead of a reservation are permitted. Common spaces do not include sleeping areas or bathrooms.

What we don’t allow

  • Concealed and undisclosed devices monitoring common spaces: Any device monitoring a common space should be installed in a visible manner and disclosed in the listing description.
  • Devices located in or monitoring private spaces: Devices should never monitor private spaces (ex: bedrooms, bathrooms, or common areas that are being used as sleeping areas, like a living room with a sofa bed). Disconnected devices are allowed as long as they are turned off and proactively disclosed to guests.

The short-term rental company also has a policy regarding hosts informing guests about security devices.

  • Intentionally concealed recording devices (such as hidden security cameras) are never permitted
  • Airbnb prohibits security cameras or recording devices that are in or that observe private spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas
  • You must indicate the presence of all security cameras or other recording devices in or around a listing, even if they’re not turned on or hooked up
  • Undisclosed security cameras or other recording devices are never permitted
  • You must also always disclose if an active recording is taking place